Jump to content


Photo

Thoughts on buying the Blackmagic URSA?

blackmagic ursa camera 4K

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Jordan Watson

Jordan Watson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 49 posts
  • Director
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 13 June 2014 - 10:25 PM

Hey guys, what are your thoughts on the new Blackmagic Ursa? In need of 4K so I can be more flexible with clients when they want to zoom in on an image. Is it worth the buy? Thanks! 


  • 0




#2 Carl King

Carl King
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 14 June 2014 - 12:11 AM

Isn't it the same sensor as Black Magic Cinema Camera 4K? If it is, I tested one recently and was horrified by the lack of sensitivity and fixed noise pattern. I truly respect their bold gear designs, but I think they should focus on making a camera without so many problems before releasing more cameras. But, they're inexpensive. So it's not too fair to complain.

I saw a test of the new GH4 at Hot Rod Cameras in Hollywood, up against footage from Alexa, RED, 1DC, etc. and it was very impressive! You may want to look into that instead.

-Carl.
  • 0

#3 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11379 posts
  • Other

Posted 14 June 2014 - 05:48 AM

Isn't it the same sensor as Black Magic Cinema Camera 4K?

 

According to the company, at NAB, back in April, yes it is.

 

My impression was that there's nothing so terribly wrong with that sensor - it doesn't have the outstanding performance of its 2.5K, rolling-shutter sibling, but these are not unreasonable caveats given the specification.

 

P


  • 0

#4 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 6787 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 14 June 2014 - 06:49 AM

Saw it @ Cinegear. I would never buy that. It's big, clunky,makes little sense, and the FPN on it was so very readily apparent.

I would look into the Cion. Same sensor, much better design, and not nearly as grungy of an image but again who knows what'll happen with it in the end.

Always best to wait and see how things shake out and buy a camera, if you must, based on what your market wants.


  • 1

#5 Jordan Watson

Jordan Watson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 49 posts
  • Director
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 14 June 2014 - 11:00 PM

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate your replies. I think I'll wait until it's released and read some reviews about it. The new Cion looks like a great camera, I'll look into that further. 

Cheers,

Jordan 


  • 0

#6 Jacob Mitchell

Jacob Mitchell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Student
  • Boston

Posted 18 October 2016 - 01:36 PM

Shot with the URSA on a run and gun shoot... at night... in other words the worst possible situation for the URSA. I think it would work best in a studio situation, or somewhere you have control over a good amount of lighting. The highest ISO is 800, and even at that the grain is IRREVERSIBLE. It's FNP (Fixed Noise Pattern), so it'll look like absolute garbage. However, I've heard FNP is supposed to be easier to remove in post - but that's something that shouldn't have to be done. 

 

I do enjoy the Global sensor and the image it gives... very easy to match with an Epic MX. 

 

The design is nice, except for one glaring flaw. When you use the built in shoulder mount, and go to look at what you're filming, you're going to get a nice 10" of image all up in your face. The screen was literally smashing my nose. 

 

Got the chance to play with the mini, and it's just as bad.

 

Cheers,

Jake 


  • 0

#7 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11379 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 October 2016 - 02:36 PM

Bad in what way?


  • 0

#8 Jay Young

Jay Young
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 391 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Lexington KY

Posted 18 October 2016 - 03:04 PM

Shot with the URSA on a run and gun shoot... at night... in other words the worst possible situation for the URSA. I think it would work best in a studio situation, or somewhere you have control over a good amount of lighting. The highest ISO is 800, and even at that the grain is IRREVERSIBLE. It's FNP (Fixed Noise Pattern), so it'll look like absolute garbage. However, I've heard FNP is supposed to be easier to remove in post - but that's something that shouldn't have to be done. 

 

I do enjoy the Global sensor and the image it gives... very easy to match with an Epic MX. 

 

The design is nice, except for one glaring flaw. When you use the built in shoulder mount, and go to look at what you're filming, you're going to get a nice 10" of image all up in your face. The screen was literally smashing my nose. 

 

Got the chance to play with the mini, and it's just as bad.

 

Cheers,

Jake 

 

 

I'm suppose to shoot a pilot, if it ever gets scheduled, and I've decided to go with the URSA x3 - PL.  I'll be in a controlled environment, shooting about 400iso.  I've been thinking about how best to use the camera for a long while.  I shot the teaser on the Cinema Camera, and it looks fantastic.  I'm not sure how people get all this noise or poor image quality out of the thing - but I guess if you give it enough light its happy. 

 

Maybe that's the problem.  If you use the camera's as they were intended, they seem to work well. 


  • 0

#9 Tyler Purcell

Tyler Purcell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2590 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:01 PM

Shot with the URSA on a run and gun shoot... at night... in other words the worst possible situation for the URSA. I think it would work best in a studio situation, or somewhere you have control over a good amount of lighting. The highest ISO is 800, and even at that the grain is IRREVERSIBLE. It's FNP (Fixed Noise Pattern), so it'll look like absolute garbage. However, I've heard FNP is supposed to be easier to remove in post - but that's something that shouldn't have to be done.


The firmware of your camera was out of date. Blackmagic have made some HUGE updates in the last few months, all of which remedy those issues. Currently, the camera can run higher then 800 without fixed pattern noise.
 

The design is nice, except for one glaring flaw. When you use the built in shoulder mount, and go to look at what you're filming, you're going to get a nice 10" of image all up in your face. The screen was literally smashing my nose.


The camera doesn't come with the required accessories to shoot hand held. Blackmagic has a beautiful shoulder mount and OLED viewfinder which bolt straight onto the camera. Without those, the camera is "studio-only", as the big display is only worthwhile indoors in dark environments.
 

Got the chance to play with the mini, and it's just as bad.


Well again, sounds like you're using the first software revision, which makes the cameras look like crap. The newest revision which just came out, solves almost all of the problems. Of course, none of these cameras are shoulder mount ready out of the box.
  • 0

#10 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11379 posts
  • Other

Posted 19 October 2016 - 01:10 PM

Seconded on the shoulder kit. It should be considered part of the camera; I wouldn't consider using one without.
  • 0

#11 Tyler Purcell

Tyler Purcell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2590 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 19 October 2016 - 05:00 PM

We just got two Mini 4.6k's at my work, but no viewfinders or shoulder adaptors! I'm furious with them because I wanted to shoot a short film ASAP, but no way is the camera usable with JUST the LCD display.
  • 0

#12 Mark Kenfield

Mark Kenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 749 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 19 October 2016 - 11:57 PM

 

 

I'm suppose to shoot a pilot, if it ever gets scheduled, and I've decided to go with the URSA x3 - PL.  I'll be in a controlled environment, shooting about 400iso.  I've been thinking about how best to use the camera for a long while.  I shot the teaser on the Cinema Camera, and it looks fantastic.  I'm not sure how people get all this noise or poor image quality out of the thing - but I guess if you give it enough light its happy. 

 

Maybe that's the problem.  If you use the camera's as they were intended, they seem to work well. 

 

All I'll say is MAKE SURE YOU SHOOT COSTUME TESTS.

 

I can't emphasise that enough, with the OLPF-free Blackmagics, moire is a HUGE problem on tightly-woven fabrics. So any clothing/fabrics that you're going to put in front of the camera, need to be tested in advance.


  • 0

#13 Jay Young

Jay Young
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 391 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Lexington KY

Posted 20 October 2016 - 06:57 AM

 

All I'll say is MAKE SURE YOU SHOOT COSTUME TESTS.

 

I can't emphasise that enough, with the OLPF-free Blackmagics, moire is a HUGE problem on tightly-woven fabrics. So any clothing/fabrics that you're going to put in front of the camera, need to be tested in advance.

 

OH GOD YES!  I've thought about every shot, and fences, and grass, and building texture, and clothing textiles, hair!  I have an AA filter on my Pocket, but I can't get those built into rental cameras sadly. 


  • 0

#14 Jacob Mitchell

Jacob Mitchell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Student
  • Boston

Posted 31 October 2016 - 08:16 AM

I have to agree though, if the conditions are ideal, the URSA seems to shine. I recently saw a test with the 4.6k and Kowas.... created some very beautiful images.


  • 0



Tai Audio

Visual Products

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Technodolly

CineTape

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Pro 8mm

Zylight

Metropolis Post

CineLab

Quantum Music Works

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Zylight

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Quantum Music Works

Visual Products

Technodolly

CineTape

Pro 8mm

The Slider

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

CineLab